MACC urged to expedite probe on timber concession in Negri Sembilan


SEREMBAN: The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission has been asked to expedite its probe into alleged wrongdoings in the awarding of a 2,000ha timber concession by the Negri Sembilan Foundation (YNS).

Foundation director Datuk Mohamad Rafie Ab Malek, who is also a state executive councillor, said this was extremely important as a high-ranking MACC officer and the state government had been implicated in the alleged wrongdoing.

He said the MACC needs to act faster to protect both its image as well as that of the state government.

“The allegations of power abuse and corruption are very serious.

“On our part, the state government will give its fullest cooperation to the MACC as we cannot allow our integrity and credibility to come into question, ” he told reporters when met at his office here.

Earlier, MACC officers had recorded Mohamad Rafie's statement related to the issue.

The state Education, Industrialisation, Investments, Education, Entrepreneurship and Human Capital Committee chairman said several other directors of YNS had also been interviewed.

These include Seri Tanjung assemblyman Datuk M. Ravi and Lobak assemblyman Chew Seh Yong.

Mohamad Rafie noted that there had been claims that MACC had failed to probe the matter, after two reports were lodged on Sept 18,2020 and on April 15,2021.

He said it was alleged that an individual holding a senior post in the state PKR and given an important position in YNS last year had abused his position in the tender process to award the concessions to bidders.

“It is claimed that since the individual was related to the senior high ranking MACC officer, the investigations into the alleged wrongdoings was stopped.

“Also, it looks as if the MACC only started probing the allegation after the second report was lodged in April this year, ” he said.

Asked if logging has started, Mohamad Rafie said as far as he knew, it hasn't.

Asked if there was any truth of wrongdoings in the tender process, Mohamad Rafie said he was in no position to comment.

“It is not fair for me to say anything. All we want is a quick and thorough probe to clear our name, ” he said.

On April 23, MACC state director Mohamad Zakkuan Talib said it was probing all timber concessions involving YNS since 2014.

A day earlier, he said preliminary investigations have revealed that the timber concession given to YNS started in 2014 with 2,500ha allocated to it every year.

He expressed hope that the public would stop speculating as investigations were still ongoing.

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